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Intrigue expert, Sam Horn helps others find their unique message and deliver it in a way that cannot be ignored. The communication specialist has assisted multiple entrepreneurs, authors, and others secure millions of dollars in contracts, funding, and investments.

During her 17 years as emcee of the Maui Writers Conference, Sam met several authors who confided in her that their dreams "had been crushed" after they failed to connect with major industry agents and editors in one-on-one pitch sessions. She realized that while our education prepares us to read and solve math equations, it neglects to teach us how to communicate what we care about so that other people care about it, too. An entrepreneur at heart, she set out on a mission to teach others the art of creating intrigue.

Sam founded the Intrigue Agency in 1982 and has served as its CEO ever since. Some of her many success stories include helping J.C. Chamberlain secure $250 M in funding from the world's richest man, Carlos Slim; coaching CEO of Business Property Trust and Bargain Storage, Barry Raber, on a pitch that got him $10 million in funding; and helping Kathleen Callendar of Pharma Jet land millions in funding for her company's one-use only syringe. Sam has also served as the pitch coach for Springboard Enterprises whose graduates include Constant Contact's Gail Goodman and ZipCar's Robin Chase.

Sam and her 8-step method for grabbing and maintaining audience attention and respect has been featured in the New York Times, Fast Company, Forbes, INC, NPR and MSNBC. Her best-selling books Got Your Attention? How to Create Intrigue and Connect with Anyone, POP!: Create the Perfect Pitch, Title or Tagline for Anything, and Tongue Fu!® Deflect, Disarm and Defuse any Verbal Conflict have been translated into 17 languages.

Full Profile

Sam Horn, Intrigue Expert

Sam Horn, founder, and CEO of the INTRIGUE AGENCY helps people create respectful, collaborative, compelling, one-of-a-kind communications and projects that scale their income and positive influence – for good.

Her work has been featured in New York Times, Fast Company, Investors Business Daily, BusinessWeek, Forbes, INC, Foreign Service Journal, Huffington Post and on MSNBC, Bloomberg, Sirius, and NPR.

Her books – including POP! Tongue Fu!®, ConZentrate, What’s Holding You Back? and Washington Post bestseller Got Your Attention? – have been endorsed by dozens of thought leaders including Stephen Covey, Dan Pink, Tony Robbins, Miki Agrawal, Keith Ferrazzi, Ken Blanchard and Marshall Goldsmith.

Her 20+ year track record of results includes speaking for such clients as National Geographic, Cisco, SXSW, Fortune 500 Forum, Intel, American Society of Association Executives, Capital One, NASA, Young Presidents Organization, Boeing, KPMG, Accenture, the U.S .Navy and Four Seasons Resorts.

She was a top-rated speaker at INC 500/5000, along with Seth Godin, Jim Collins, Tom Peters and Tim Ferris and is the Pitch Coach for Springboard Enterprises which has helped entrepreneurs receive $6.6 billion in funding. A partial list of credentials includes:

  • As President of Intrigue Agency, she has spoken to more than a half million people worldwide (e.g. Athens, London, Geneva, Berlin, Dublin, Cancun, Toronto) and for hundreds of organizations including National Governors Association, American Bankers Association, California Governors Conference for Women, the U.S. Embassy in London and the Asian Leadership Conference in South Korea.
  • As a presentation/pitch coach and media training expert, Sam has helped hundreds of clients prepare for high-stakes communications including TED and TEDx talks, keynotes, fund-raising pitches, commencement speeches, job interviews and appearances on TV and at public events.
  • Being interviewed on network TV (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, MSNBC) and radio shows in every major city (New York to LA). She was featured on Jay Leno’s Tonight’s Show, Diane Rehm’s show on NPR, and is a frequent guest on popular podcasts such as John Lee Dumas’ Entrepreneur on Fire.
  • Pitch Coach for British Airways Face2Face competition, USA Today Perfect Pitch and Springboard Enterprises. Sam’s clients have won millions of funding and contracts (for example, a $250 million deal with Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world) as a result of their work with her.
  • 17-time Emcee of the Maui Writers Conference, hosting top agents/editors/publishers, Hollywood insiders (Ron Howard) and bestselling authors including Mitch Albom, Nicholas Sparks, and James Rollins. The Host of the annual Non-fiction retreat.
  • Author of 6 award-winning books from major publishers (translated into 17 languages; Chinese, German, Spanish, French, Hindi, Greek, Korean, Polish, Spanish, Japanese).
  • Book coach and adviser who has helped hundreds of clients create quality evergreen books that scale impact and add value for all involved. Clients include Terry Jones (founder of Travelocity), Charlie Pellerin (Project Manager of Hubble Telescope).

  • Sam Horn Speaker Videos Back to top

    Sam Horn, Intrigue Expert: TEDxBethsedaWomen


    Did you know that most people decide if they're interested in your project within the first 60 seconds of your pitch? Sam Horn models steps you can take to instantly hook an audience so that they will be begging to hear more about your product, cause, or whatever it is you might be passionate about.

    As the 17-time Emcee of the Maui Writers Conference, Sam saw writers come out of face-to-face meetings with some of publishing's most prominent editors and agents feeling devastated because they had failed to capture their attention. "Author E.M. Forester was asked the secret to life and he said two words: 'only connect,'" she relays, explaining that while we want to do this, we're never taught how. Nevertheless, Sam demonstrates that even as adults, we can learn to be more intriguing, as she presents a condensed version of her easily applicable methodology and gives audience members a chance to put it into practice immediately.

    Sam Horn, Intrigue Expert: Interview


    Sam Horn, Intrigue Expert: Keynote



    Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


    Sam Horn rewrites the rules of presentations and pitches as she shows you how to take out the fat, get to the meat, and hook audiences in the first 60 seconds. Sam models step-by-step her original methodology that has been used by authors, entrepreneurs, and others to seal business deals and secure millions of dollars in investments, fundings, and contracts. Her highly interactive programs are complete with the opportunity to apply her suggestions to a project occurring in your life right now so that you can be raising eyebrows by the end of her session.

    Got Your Attention? Increase Your Influence – for Good
    Did you know goldfish have longer attention spans than humans do? How then can we give/get attention in a rush-rush world of INFObesity where everyone’s busy? How? With Sam Horn’s INTRIGUE process which shows how to win respect and buy-in for your ideas, projects, company, cause and initiatives. Includes why NEVER to give an elevator speech and what to do instead. Based on Sam’s Washington Post bestseller Got Your Attention?, presented at SXSW and TEDx, and to National Geographic, Accenture, Ernst Young, Cisco, and ASAE. Featured in New York Times, INC, Forbes and on MSNBC. Endorsed by Dan Pink, Keith Ferrazzi and Marshall Goldsmith who says it is a “must for every leader.”

    Work with Difficult People – Without Becoming One Yourself
    Like to know what to say – when you don’t know what to say? Would you like to be able to think on your feet, keep your cool when people are blaming you for something that’s not your fault, create a culture of cooperation, prevent bullies from targeting you, and act with integrity – even when others aren’t? Based on Sam’s bestsellers Tongue Fu! and Take the Bully by the Horns, presented to Boeing, Asian Leadership Conference, Honolulu Police, U.S. Embassy in London. Featured in Readers Digest, Investors Business Daily and in Executive Book Summaries which says it’s a “gold-mine for anyone who deals with the public.”

    Concentration
    Actors have it. World-class athletes have it. The ability to stay focused - no matter what. Want good news? Concentration is a skill you can develop at any age. Discover why NASA hired Sam to present this for their Leadership Series and why her book ConZentrate was featured on NPR, endorsed by Billie Jean King, and Dr. Stephen R. Covey who called it “masterful.” Learn how to s-t-r-e-t-c-h your attention span, regain focus when interrupted, listen even when you don’t want to, remember names, overcome procrastination, set up the peak performance state of flow, and create a mindfulness practice that counteracts stress. Sam’s tips work in busy offices, when studying, playing sports, taking tests and in high-pressure situations.

    Water
    If you liked Cheryl Strayed’s WILD, you’ll love Sam Horn’s WATER. An inspirational keynote that shares experiences and epiphanies from Sam’s Year by the Water. Her put-you-in-the-scene stories inspire audience members to reflect on the true meaning of success and take responsibility for creating a well-led life where the light is on in their eyes. Presented to Transformational Leadership Council, Conversations Amongst Masters (the world’s top coaches), INFOcomm and Women in Consumer Technology.



    Sam Horn Speaker Testimonials Back to top

    "It was so great having Sam here! We’ve had glowing reviews with many members commenting that it was one of the best learning events they’ve attended."
    - David Katz, Integration Chair, Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Vancouver

    "Congratulations. The overall consensus was your two programs were a smashing success! Attendees used such words as ‘thought-provoking,’ ‘informative and insightful,’ ‘creative approaches,’ and ‘very profitable ideas which will pay off immediately.’ I share their satisfaction and enthusiasm."
    - Joan Dickson, Manager of Meetings & Conventions, National Pest Control

    "Your evaluation results – a 9.64 out of 10 – reflect the care and time you took to plan and deliver your sessions. You inspired, motivated and encouraged our participants while teaching them new skills and new ways of thinking."
    - Murray Coulter, United States Tennis Association

    "Sam Horn is a catalyzer. With grace and compassion, she has pushed me to be bigger and better than I ever could have imagined."
    - Bristol Baugham, TED Fellow, award-winning film producer of Which Way Home

    "In my 40 year career, I’ve never heard a more effective speaker than Sam Horn."
    Judy Gray, CEO, Florida Society of Association Executives

    "We got raves about you. Having you as our closing keynoter was like smooth chocolate sauce on fine ice cream."
    - Marianne DeCosta, Builders, Owners and Managers Association

    "My staff thoroughly enjoyed your excellent presentation. Compliments included, 'By far the most informative communications class I’ve ever attended. Ms. Horn is a dynamic speaker who captures the audience and emphasizes practical subject matter.'"
    - T.J. Concannon, Commanding Officer, MEPS, U.S. Navy

    "I can’t tell you how much we appreciated your program. Three of us traveled together to the meeting and talked of nothing else on the way back home."
    - Tina Huneycutt, Lockheed Martin

    "Sam is one of the best in the business. She always receives top ratings. She is known for her ability to introduce ideas smart professionals haven’t heard before they can immediately apply to their situations."
    - Ruth Stergiou, (Founder/CEO, Invent Your Future Conference in Silicon Valley, CA)

    "Sam Horn offers a wealth of ideas on how anyone can have ‘a way with words.’ Her techniques are popping fresh, easy to apply and jolly good fun."
    - Richard Lederer, National Public Radio’s A Way With Words

    "What can I say; you are wonderful; you change lives. It is not often one is fortunate enough to attend a presentation of such inspiration and depth. The legislators raved about the insights they gained from you."
    - Robin Read, National Federation for Women Legislators (Sam’s been asked back 5 times to help these female legislators with their platforms and messaging)

    "Never have I witnessed such positive comments regarding a presenter."
    - Steve Yager, Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents

    "Thank you for your wisdom, dedication and emcee talents in helping us pull off this amazing event. Your SerenDestiny talk was inspiring and you are BRILLIANT."
    - Eileen Spillane, TEDx-NASA

    "Sam Horn captures and holds an audience’s attention by delivering immediately actionable advise on how to intrigue people, gain their interest and get their buy-in… People sat on the edge of their chairs listening and absorbing Sam’s suggestions."
    - Jack K. Gelman, Group Chairman of Vistage International, Inc

    "Thank you for changing the way I think about my business and my story. My pitch has immediately become more relatable, funny, and interesting. Your thought-provoking session was a fabulous kick in the pants. I look forward to our paths crossing again!"
    - Kasey Benedict, Owner of Kitchen Witch LLC

    "Sam, congratulations! You accomplished something that has not been successfully done in the seven years of CAM. Normally our audience wants…no demands…that we be in conversation most of the time. You were so captivating that listening to you with the exercises woven in trumped that desire. Well done!"
    - Scott Wintrip, Wintrip Consulting Group and StaffingU

    "Sam brought a ton of energy to an after-lunch session – her techniques for engaging and involving everyone were not only effective in their own right, they served as a wonderful model for all of us who want to make as much of an impact as she does."
    - Dr. James Ware, Program Director, NSA

    "You did a fantastic job! Your presentation was exactly what I was hoping for!!! I have been getting great comments. Several people also expressed great comments about the fact that you helped so many people with 1-2-1’s."
    - Ivan Misner, Ph.D. Founder and Chairman, BNI

    "Sam Horn’s event for our chapter was among one of the highest rated. It is obvious Sam has a deep sincere desire to use her “Super Powers” of being able to really listen intently to help people solve creative problems. She is able to under stand a members unique situation and communicate a clear strategy to help them stand out from the crowd. Overall, Sam is a brilliant presenter who really engages the audience to be part of the solution."
    - Trevor Graves EO Portland




    * Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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    "It was so great having Sam here! We’ve had glowing reviews with many members commenting that it was one of the best learning events they’ve attended."
    - David Katz, Integration Chair, Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Vancouver

    "Congratulations. The overall consensus was your two programs were a smashing success! Attendees used such words as ‘thought-provoking,’ ‘informative and insightful,’ ‘creative approaches,’ and ‘very profitable ideas which will pay off immediately.’ I share their satisfaction and enthusiasm."
    - Joan Dickson, Manager of Meetings & Conventions, National Pest Control

    "Your evaluation results – a 9.64 out of 10 – reflect the care and time you took to plan and deliver your sessions. You inspired, motivated and encouraged our participants while teaching them new skills and new ways of thinking."
    - Murray Coulter, United States Tennis Association

    "Sam Horn is a catalyzer. With grace and compassion, she has pushed me to be bigger and better than I ever could have imagined."
    - Bristol Baugham, TED Fellow, award-winning film producer of Which Way Home

    "In my 40 year career, I’ve never heard a more effective speaker than Sam Horn."
    Judy Gray, CEO, Florida Society of Association Executives

    "We got raves about you. Having you as our closing keynoter was like smooth chocolate sauce on fine ice cream."
    - Marianne DeCosta, Builders, Owners and Managers Association

    "My staff thoroughly enjoyed your excellent presentation. Compliments included, 'By far the most informative communications class I’ve ever attended. Ms. Horn is a dynamic speaker who captures the audience and emphasizes practical subject matter.'"
    - T.J. Concannon, Commanding Officer, MEPS, U.S. Navy

    "I can’t tell you how much we appreciated your program. Three of us traveled together to the meeting and talked of nothing else on the way back home."
    - Tina Huneycutt, Lockheed Martin

    "Sam is one of the best in the business. She always receives top ratings. She is known for her ability to introduce ideas smart professionals haven’t heard before they can immediately apply to their situations."
    - Ruth Stergiou, (Founder/CEO, Invent Your Future Conference in Silicon Valley, CA)

    "Sam Horn offers a wealth of ideas on how anyone can have ‘a way with words.’ Her techniques are popping fresh, easy to apply and jolly good fun."
    - Richard Lederer, National Public Radio’s A Way With Words

    "What can I say; you are wonderful; you change lives. It is not often one is fortunate enough to attend a presentation of such inspiration and depth. The legislators raved about the insights they gained from you."
    - Robin Read, National Federation for Women Legislators (Sam’s been asked back 5 times to help these female legislators with their platforms and messaging)

    "Never have I witnessed such positive comments regarding a presenter."
    - Steve Yager, Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents

    "Thank you for your wisdom, dedication and emcee talents in helping us pull off this amazing event. Your SerenDestiny talk was inspiring and you are BRILLIANT."
    - Eileen Spillane, TEDx-NASA

    "Sam Horn captures and holds an audience’s attention by delivering immediately actionable advise on how to intrigue people, gain their interest and get their buy-in… People sat on the edge of their chairs listening and absorbing Sam’s suggestions."
    - Jack K. Gelman, Group Chairman of Vistage International, Inc

    "Thank you for changing the way I think about my business and my story. My pitch has immediately become more relatable, funny, and interesting. Your thought-provoking session was a fabulous kick in the pants. I look forward to our paths crossing again!"
    - Kasey Benedict, Owner of Kitchen Witch LLC

    "Sam, congratulations! You accomplished something that has not been successfully done in the seven years of CAM. Normally our audience wants…no demands…that we be in conversation most of the time. You were so captivating that listening to you with the exercises woven in trumped that desire. Well done!"
    - Scott Wintrip, Wintrip Consulting Group and StaffingU

    "Sam brought a ton of energy to an after-lunch session – her techniques for engaging and involving everyone were not only effective in their own right, they served as a wonderful model for all of us who want to make as much of an impact as she does."
    - Dr. James Ware, Program Director, NSA

    "You did a fantastic job! Your presentation was exactly what I was hoping for!!! I have been getting great comments. Several people also expressed great comments about the fact that you helped so many people with 1-2-1’s."
    - Ivan Misner, Ph.D. Founder and Chairman, BNI

    "Sam Horn’s event for our chapter was among one of the highest rated. It is obvious Sam has a deep sincere desire to use her “Super Powers” of being able to really listen intently to help people solve creative problems. She is able to under stand a members unique situation and communicate a clear strategy to help them stand out from the crowd. Overall, Sam is a brilliant presenter who really engages the audience to be part of the solution."
    - Trevor Graves EO Portland


    Got Your Attention?: How to Create Intrigue and Connect with Anyone
    Did you know:
    • Goldfish, yes, goldfish, have longer attention spans than we humans do?
    • One in four people abandons a website if it takes longer than four seconds to load?
    Imagine if there were ways, in a world of impatience and INFObesity, to quickly intrigue busy, distracted people and earn their interest, trust and buy-in?

    Imagine if there was a process for pleasantly surprising decision-makers and convincing them you're the right person for the job, position, project or contract?

    You don't have to imagine it, Sam Horn has created it. Sam's innovative techniques have helped her clients close deals and raise millions of dollars and will be your “secret sauce” to getting funded, hired, elected, promoted or referred.




    IDEApreneur: Monetize Your Mind
    Ideas themselves don’t have the power to change the world and become a profitable reality until we turn them into a tangible product, service or business.

    That’s why this book provides you with a step-by-step SYSTEM on how to become an IDEApreneur who consciously and strategically:

    • increases your flow of ideas
    • assesses your ideas for uniqueness and money-making potential
    • positions, packages and communicates your ideas so they get noticed, respected and bought
    • markets, merchandises, monetizes your ideas through a variety of strategic business activities

    You’re about to learn proven techniques and tools you can use immediately to generate marketable, memorable, merchandisable ideas that get noticed and get bought.

    Got Your Attention? Increase Your Influence – for Good
    Did you know goldfish have longer attention spans than humans do? How then can we give/get attention in a rush-rush world of INFObesity where everyone’s busy? How? With Sam Horn’s INTRIGUE process which shows how to win respect and buy-in for your ideas, projects, company, cause and initiatives. Includes why NEVER to give an elevator speech and what to do instead. Based on Sam’s Washington Post bestseller Got Your Attention?, presented at SXSW and TEDx, and to National Geographic, Accenture, Ernst Young, Cisco, and ASAE. Featured in New York Times, INC, Forbes and on MSNBC. Endorsed by Dan Pink, Keith Ferrazzi and Marshall Goldsmith who says it is a “must for every leader.”

    Work with Difficult People – Without Becoming One Yourself
    Like to know what to say – when you don’t know what to say? Would you like to be able to think on your feet, keep your cool when people are blaming you for something that’s not your fault, create a culture of cooperation, prevent bullies from targeting you, and act with integrity – even when others aren’t? Based on Sam’s bestsellers Tongue Fu! and Take the Bully by the Horns, presented to Boeing, Asian Leadership Conference, Honolulu Police, U.S. Embassy in London. Featured in Readers Digest, Investors Business Daily and in Executive Book Summaries which says it’s a “gold-mine for anyone who deals with the public.”

    Concentration
    Actors have it. World-class athletes have it. The ability to stay focused - no matter what. Want good news? Concentration is a skill you can develop at any age. Discover why NASA hired Sam to present this for their Leadership Series and why her book ConZentrate was featured on NPR, endorsed by Billie Jean King, and Dr. Stephen R. Covey who called it “masterful.” Learn how to s-t-r-e-t-c-h your attention span, regain focus when interrupted, listen even when you don’t want to, remember names, overcome procrastination, set up the peak performance state of flow, and create a mindfulness practice that counteracts stress. Sam’s tips work in busy offices, when studying, playing sports, taking tests and in high-pressure situations.

    Water
    If you liked Cheryl Strayed’s WILD, you’ll love Sam Horn’s WATER. An inspirational keynote that shares experiences and epiphanies from Sam’s Year by the Water. Her put-you-in-the-scene stories inspire audience members to reflect on the true meaning of success and take responsibility for creating a well-led life where the light is on in their eyes. Presented to Transformational Leadership Council, Conversations Amongst Masters (the world’s top coaches), INFOcomm and Women in Consumer Technology.


    Sam Horn, Intrigue Expert: TEDxBethsedaWomen


    Did you know that most people decide if they're interested in your project within the first 60 seconds of your pitch? Sam Horn models steps you can take to instantly hook an audience so that they will be begging to hear more about your product, cause, or whatever it is you might be passionate about.

    As the 17-time Emcee of the Maui Writers Conference, Sam saw writers come out of face-to-face meetings with some of publishing's most prominent editors and agents feeling devastated because they had failed to capture their attention. "Author E.M. Forester was asked the secret to life and he said two words: 'only connect,'" she relays, explaining that while we want to do this, we're never taught how. Nevertheless, Sam demonstrates that even as adults, we can learn to be more intriguing, as she presents a condensed version of her easily applicable methodology and gives audience members a chance to put it into practice immediately.

    Sam Horn, Intrigue Expert: Interview


    Sam Horn, Intrigue Expert: Keynote